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Feature book: The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus

23 March 2011

The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus by Charlaine Harris

Lily Bard lives in a small town in Southern USA. She cleans houses for a living and enjoys karate and working out in the gym. She keeps to herself, her life is under control and she likes it that way, until one night, in Shakespeare’s Landlord, Lily spots a stranger stealing her wheelie bin.

Lily investigates to find a body dumped in the local park. She is worried that she will become a suspect because her bin had been used to dump the body. Lily decides to investigate the murder. However, this entails getting to know her neighbours and opening herself up to other people. This is difficult for her as Lily survived a terrible ordeal in the past, but this also sets her on the path to actually living her life, not just existing.

With a cast of characters ranging from the new police chief, Claude Friedrich, to Lily’s sleazy CPA neighbour, Carlton Cockroft, Charlaine Harris paints a picture of small town life. Amazingly for a small town, Shakespeare seems to have more than its fair share of murders.

The Lily Bard Omnibus contains five novels. As the stories progress, we see Lily heal and connect with her fellow townspeople. Lily is a gutsy lady, with dark fears but a determination to survive and overcome the odds.

In Shakespeare’s Champion, a bodybuilder preparing for a championship is found murdered at Lily’s gym. Later, a victim of a race-hate bashing is also murdered.

Lily goes back to her hometown for Christmas and for her sister’s wedding in Shakespeare’s Christmas. She arrives just in time for murder: the local doctor and nurse have been bludgeoned to death. Lily’s new boyfriend, a detective, shows up to investigate.

Shakespeare’s Trollope is a story about the murder of Lily’s promiscuous neighbour.

The last novel in the omnibus, Shakespeare’s Counselor, shows the changes for the better in Lily’s life. She has joined a group therapy session in order to come to terms with her past trauma. This goes well until a fellow group member is murdered.

I am a fan of the early Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. The Lily Bard Mysteries were published prior to Sookie Stackhouse and show the emergence of Charlaine Harris as an author. The Lily Bard novels are not paranormal stories, but are interesting and deal with issues that are uncomfortable but thought provoking.

reviewed by Nicola Smith

This book is available as a giveaway. All members who leave a comment will go in the draw to win it.

The competition has now closed. The winner of the book giveaway was Barbara.

  1. Amanda permalink
    3 April 2011 6:36 pm

    So, is the series as much fun as Sookie? I love Charlaine Harris’ Sookie novels, and I do like crime also, but how do these compare in terms of reading?

  2. Barbara permalink
    23 March 2011 8:52 pm

    This book sounds interesting …sounds a bit like Mid Somer Murders LOL


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